Did anyone really believe that Nancy Pelosi's recent whirlwind visit to Iraq was truly the "fact-finding" mission she billed it to be? I doubt it. But just in case there are some credulous folks out there, here's proof that rather than trying to find facts, Pelosi wanted to promote a political agenda.
Have a look at this video clip from her January 26th visit. Exactly two minutes in, Pelosi, seated with Jack Murtha, is speaking with the young female Army
soldier who is seen facing the camera. Here is the exchange:
Young Army Soldier: "I'm a 96 Bravo Intel Analyst. I work as a Sunni analyst in a fusion cell."
Nancy Pelosi: "Let's talk about the intelligence that got us into the war. That would be interesting to start with."
Think about it. If Pelosi were truly interested in "finding facts," she might have asked this young analyst about the strides we are making with Sunnis and the cooperation we're receiving against al-Qaeda in Iraq, about new cooperation we're receiving from Shia government leaders in rooting out death-squad leaders -- and what might happen to those efforts if we followed Mr. Murtha's recommendation and "redeployed" our folks to Okinawa.
Instead, with her eyes firmly fixed in the rear-view mirror and on domestic politics, Pelosi seeks to lure the analyst into a discussion of the intelligence from five years ago that led to the decision to go to war - something clearly outside the soldier's areas of responsibility or expertise.
This is not "fact-finding" - it's an attempt to use our brave soldiers as extras in Pelosi's political stunt film. Has anyone seen a MSM report on Pelosi's attempt to exploit the solider for political ends? Neither have I.
UPDATE - was Pelosi quizzing an enlisted HS grad? I was curious about the soldier that Pelosi wanted to engage in a discussion of the intelligence that led us into the war in Iraq. The soldier said she was a '96 Bravo' intel analyst. I Googled that, and found this list of qualifications for a '96B Intel Analyst,' quite possibly the position in question. You'll note that as per paragraph 10-221.b.(6), such analysts must be a "high school graduate or equivalent" prior to entry into active duty. Note also the requirement under 10-221.b.(4)(a) of an ASVAB score of 105. That's a test administered to enlisted people.
In other words, it seems possible that Pelosi was quizzing an enlisted person with a high school diploma about the highest possible level intelligence matters. Now, there are any number of brilliant HS grads, and surely many of them serve in our armed forces. But it seems very unlikely this intel analyst would ever have had access to the kind of highest-possible level intelligence materials to which Pelosi was referring. Of course that didn't matter at all to the Speaker. She was only concerned with scoring political points, not in "finding facts."
Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org